The book opens in the late 1980s. Carl and his brother down beer after beer at a favorite pub, trying to piece together their family’s chaotic past. The stakes are high—someone is about to return after a 20-year absence, threatening to re-ignite the family conflict. As the brothers’ painful recollections of their past become more traumatic, Carl drifts back in time to the era he tried for so many years to forget.
The story is realistic, poignant, and at times very funny. Stephens shines a timely spotlight on the then-unquestioned power of the Church, while taking the reader back to the ’60s era of rock & roll, Catholic schools, social upheaval, and boyhood pranks.
Phil Stephens: Longer than I'm willing to admit.
Phil Stephens: I wanted a title that conveyed the subject matter of the book and grabbed the reader.
Phil Stephens: Most all of it.
Phil Stephens: Yes, if my first novel takes off.
Phil Stephens: It is one of the few things I have a talent for.
Phil Stephens: I did.
Phil Stephens: Finding the time to do it.
Phil Stephens: First of all START the book and then FINISH it. Don't give up.